Is Zisha clay particularly fragile?


Dear Tea Friends,
I have just broken my very first Yi Xing tea pot. It (or let us say, she?) has not lived a long life: after less than a year's faithful service the lid has been broken. It is almost beyond me, how it could happen, as I always treated it very carefully. Nevertheless yesterday while wiping the lid with a piece of tissue paper I happened to drop it on the table. It reached the table after a very short free fall of only 20 centimeters (about 8 inches). It was inmediately broken into two halves, with many small, glass-like splinters besides the half pieces; the fragments did not look like regular clay at all, but much more like glass. - Suddenly I also remembered that I managed to chip the brim of the lid on the very first day I used it, again by dropping it on the table, but from a lesser height.
All this made me wonder whether all yi xing wares are as fragile, rigid and glass-like like the one I have, needing very cautious care, or I am just the unhappy owner of a pot of lesser quality? I bought it from one of the more reputable online vendors. According the original description it is blue Zisha mixed mildly with yellow clay.
Thanks, Gyorgy Sajo
Reply to
Gyorgy Sajo
> All this made me wonder whether all yi xing wares are as fragile, rigid and > glass-like like the one I have, needing very cautious care, or I am just the > unhappy owner of a pot of lesser quality? I bought it from one of the more > reputable online vendors. According the original description it is blue > Zisha mixed mildly with yellow clay.
Yixing teapots come in a variety of quality, generally almost all of the ones I have seen for sale in tea shops and online are not very high quality... even expensive ones. They are not built like tanks though and even high quality ones will break from a drop of this height. The smaller more compact ones that are less ornate can withstand a beating however and may have survived this fall.
I personally never purchase colored yixing teapots. Plain purple clay only unless it is for decoration only. Low quality clay or sandy clay will result in chipping espcially around the spout, lids, or fragile decorative bits. The splintering you mentioned sounds proper for a fairly good quality clay and firing... the firing of the teapot is actually one of the most important parts of a solid teapot and most are not fired expertly.
The strange part of your post (and what caught my attention) was that it boke in half. Yixing teapots are normally molded by pouring and there are no "halves" or seams. That part has me a bit puzzled, was it a perfectly clean split?
It sounds like you have a lower to mid quality teapot and it suffered a fall that would have damaged even a top quality teapot. BTW what did it fall onto?
Reply to
Dominic T.
> The strange part of your post (and what caught my attention) was that > it boke in half. Yixing teapots are normally molded by pouring and > there are no "halves" or seams. That part has me a bit puzzled, was it > a perfectly clean split? I am sorry, I think I was not clear enough in my initial post: it is only the lid that I have dropped and that is broken. The pot itself did not suffer any damage; but because the pot has become unuseful without the lid, I took me the freedom in my initial sentence saying that I have broken my first tea pot... So it is only the lid. And no, it is not a perfectly clean split. > > It sounds like you have a lower to mid quality teapot and it suffered a > fall that would have damaged even a top quality teapot. BTW what did it > fall onto?
Onto a hardwood table.
Reply to
Gyorgy Sajo
> I am sorry, I think I was not clear enough in my initial post: it is only > the lid that I have dropped and that is broken. The pot itself did not > suffer any damage; but because the pot has become unuseful without the lid, > I took me the freedom in my initial sentence saying that I have broken my > first tea pot... So it is only the lid. And no, it is not a perfectly clean > split. Aha, I knew something was strange... that explains it. I wouldn't give up hope, if it has been a long used teapot and you are using it for personal use you could measure the opening and buy a low grade yixing teapot for like $10 for a new lid. It probably wont match it colorwise, but the pot would still be usable. just a thought. While there are colored Zisha clay pots, I still stick to purple clay only pots, and I also inspect them well before purchasing (so online would be out for me). it is very tough to learn to buy a very high quality one, I know I've been fooled a couple times, and one of my most prized pots came from a temporary mall store that sold me their display unit for $14.00 because they were closing for the season and didn't know/care. Then I paid a ton and had two hand delivered from overseas and they were very poor. it's a crapshoot at best. > Onto a hardwood table.
It is a bummer, and I feel for you... I have broken the steam vent on one of my pots' lids but the lid is stil in tact and functions but that's the worst I've suffered. if you don't mind me asking what website did you purchase it from? I'd be interested in seeing where they buy their teapots from and the general quality.
Reply to
Dominic T.

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